Posts Tagged ‘Love’

10 things I wish I knew when I was 20

IMG_4655

This is an actual blackboard hanging in my house. I have written these 5 points over a period of 24 months, one point at a time as I unwrapped the lessons. I must admit they came during the most difficult trials in my life and maybe that’s why the lessons have stuck so well. I always look forward to my birthday, but also dreaded getting old. I no longer resent old age though, as I have since realized that the older I grow, the more I fall in love with the woman I am becoming. A lot of people have not made it this far, which means I have survived everything life has thrown at me up to this point. Below are the 10 things I would tell to my 20-year old self, being a day away from 30, I needed to reflect and take stock at what life has offered me.

  1. Thank God

I have learnt that in my life I have a lot to be thankful for. No matter how dire my situation may have been, I can bet my life that someone is going through far worse and his or her situation is not about change anytime soon. Counting your blessings one by one each day, brings a sense of hope in one’s soul. Gratitude invites more blessing and being alive is one.

  1. The time is NOW

The best time to start or stop doing something is NOW! The present is the best opportunity to live, to grow and be true to your convictions. Procrastinating on progressive decisions is such an injustice to your destiny. Time and chance may not present themselves as they have today. Seize the moment, the opportunity may never come again.

  1. Honor your decisions

Had I stuck to my resolutions when I made them, I would be living my best life right now. But again, putting things off for another day and basking in the comfort of dysfunction is counter-revolutionary to your growth. So you have figured out that a particular activity/relationship is holding you back. Off all the things that are detrimental to you life, you have narrowed it down to that is “one” thing and you are making a decision to change it. Please stick to that resolution daily. It will not be easy, you will forget sometimes, but as soon as you remember your decision, promise yourself once more. This way you learn to trust yourself and build up your self-esteem.

  1. Speak your Truth

A healthy self-esteem is also built up through the ability of speaking your truth. For the longest time I have been unable to express my true feelings with the fear that it might offend the next person or they might appreciate me less. The result was that I would overly commit myself and let the very same people down, including myself. Speaking your truth is also necessary when you speak to yourself and most importantly to God through your prayers. The Lord delights when we are vulnerable and honest to him, because he already knows whats in our hearts anyway. Communication is the most important ingredient in any relationship, be it professional or personal. Being honest with yourself yields the best reward of all. There is nothing more sad than seeing someone believing their own lies. Stay true!

  1. Learn to say No without explaining yourself

If you can’t do something, you can’t, end of story. You don’t need to be rude or apologetic about it. I am one of those people that wanted to please all and sundry and felt the need to explain my decisions all the time, as though people invested some of the years of their lives in mine and I owe them a time account. It is good to be polite and commit wherever possible, but it should never be at your detriment. I have since discovered that whatever I tried to explain to others, I was trying to justify in my own mind. Which means I’m not sure about the choice that I just made. Those who care about you will understand when you cannot show up because they know of the many times you did. You character is not defined by the ability to please, but the level of integrity you abide by.

  1. The world owes you nothing

Not needing to explain myself helped me learn that I actually do not owe anyone anything. Everything I do or say needs to be meaningful and come from my heart. Anything you do with ingenuity is an inconvenience to yourself and a nuisance to others. Likewise nobody owes you loyalty, love, attention or politeness. All these things are done because people want to, and you need to appreciate every single good deed, because you are not entitled to it. Even God himself owes you absolutely nothing, all you have is by Grace. Receive it as such. Life does not owe you success no matter how good you have been. Yes you reap what you sow, but you don’t do good as an investment, you do it because you want to and only then will it come back to you. Expectations lead to disappointments, have none (or as little as possible).

  1. Low self-esteem is not humility

There’s nothing as dis empowering as fake-humility. I have done that a great deal in my life. Treating myself as an option just to appear humble to people who don’t even need my sacrifice. I mistook thinking lowly of myself as the ultimate expression of humility and little did I know that was exactly how the world would perceive me. Humility continues to be the greatest virtue I aspire to, but I bring self-love along. Pride is not attractive on any basis, in fact its like poisoning your own soul and living in delusion. We are on earth and are all equal, lets live there. Give to yourself the love that you would extend to others, you are just as important.

  1. You are not ready for marriage

Marriage is no joke guys! It takes your whole soul and a bit to make it work with your beloved. You need to constantly work on yourself to be better for your soul mate and for the partnership to work. If I knew this, my twenties would have been the most liberating time of my life. I spent a decent part of them stressing about marriage and when it was finally gonna rain on precious me. It is only now do I realize that I have had quiet a lot to work on personally before I could even fathom of someone else entrusting me with their heart and their dreams.

  1. Being “you” is your Super-power

No one can be Noluthando the way I can be. Not now, not ever. That is my super-power. Only I can execute my destiny, tell my story and color the world in a manner that me can do. Everywhere you go, know that you have decorated the place with your rival and you matter. No one can dispute how you are doing you, because frankly only you know how to.

  1. Jesus saves

Not my moral behavior, sweet words, pretty face or lengthy prayers can save my soul, only Jesus can. I gave my life to the Lord in my second year of university and I continue to surrender it daily. Many Christians and non-christians fall into the trap of being their own saviors and some even say that they need to change their lives before they come to God. I have also tried to clean up own messes, only to create bigger ones. The acknowledgement that there is a power higher than you that can help you rise higher is the beginning of wisdom. If you were your own god, you would be running this world. Gradually understanding and absorbing that Jesus is my savior, has helped absolve myself off condemnation, forgive my own errors and renewed my hope for the future.

Overall, I have learnt to accept that I am a work in progress and will continue to be that for the rest of my life. I just need to remain committed to my own development. At the end of it, things will be okay, they always turn out that way. No situation is permanent, not even your weaknesses or deepest fears. Morning always comes, and when it does, take the lessons into your noonday.

“ You have to relentlessly participate in the manifestation of your own blessings”

 

Highest Honor

Everything natural on this earth is alive, if fact earth itself is considered to have a soul, called Gaia and she is female in her form. The soil germinates seeds and grows food for us. The plant itself is alive as it grows, water brings life, in fact without it; there is no life, just like air. All the natural elements (earth, water, fire, air) are a culmination of life and all living beings are an embodiment of these elements. You need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and sun for warmth. This applies to all created animals, they are a combinations of all elements of life. We are therefore no different from any living thing on this earth, but we are somewhat superior, one might even say we are at the top of the food chain. Have you ever wondered though how was it decided that one would manifest as a plant, an animal or human being? If lives of animals were not sacred, they would not be afraid of dying. While, we’re at it, who decides which animal spirit will be a rat and another a lion?

Well, according to Vedic literature there is actually a science that determines who is born in what form. They believe that existence starts in the most basic form and evolves to the highest level, which is spiritual enlightenment. Where one is no longer subject to the limitations of the elements, nor gets to be born and die again, but live in the purest form reminiscent with the source of their soul. According to them, existence therefore, begins on the earth as rock and with is the densest vibration and gradually over time, that manifestation changes form into something else. Think of how mountains go through erosion and what was hard rock now becomes soil. The soil can germinate life and eventually graduate into manifesting as a plant. The next stage existence is that of animals, which is a more enhanced experience of the elements and less dense dimension. Animals can protect themselves; reproduce with intention and most importantly are driven by their instincts to ensure survival. I would assume it starts off small and climbs the ranks, over time to being an elephant, maybe.

The next, not final, stage of existence is that of being born as a human. In this dimension of existence it is considered the highest honor compared to all living things on this earth. We are not driven by instincts, but we have our intelligence, will power and insight to spiritual enlightenment. Art is the highest expression of human intelligence and all of us have that gift, whether creating or enjoying it. Most importantly we all have eternity engraved in our souls. All of us, at some point wonder, where exactly do we all come from and where we are going, ideally none of us want to die or age for that matter. Ancient Eastern texts (Vedic) believe being born human grants you the opportunity to change the destiny of your soul by how you exhibit your human experience. We cannot merely exist to eat, reproduce, protect and die; this would make us no different to animals. Likewise spending all our days wanting to have more than others, when in actual fact the value of lives is exactly the same. “All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough. Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless – like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 7).

 “Once we take human birth, our destiny is shaped by karma. Karma are actions pertaining to the development of the material body and such acts sentence us to future births in the material world where we reap what we sow. If we act according to good moral code we produce good karma, likewise if we engross ourselves in fleshly desires we create bad karma. If we don’t learn good lessons we are sent back to try again, with a better starting point if we were good, or worse off if we were vile. The material world reforms us, teaching us through reward and punishment to acknowledge God’s supreme position. – (Swami Prabhupada, Veda, Secrets of the East).

I may not fully understand the evolution of the soul as described above. Whether our souls evolve over time, arrive as is or travel from one dimension to the next, is not important. What is important to is that we realize the strength of what we possess within our souls. The bible says God created us in His image. He spoke things into existence and we possess the same power. We have dominion over earth and all things created, therefore, it is expected of us to experience life on a higher level. It should be above the animalistic instincts. Our vibrations can change the course of humanity and digging deeper within ourselves for the eternity we yearn for, will lead us to attain our individual pursuit of excellence. Remember, a plant only graduates to the next level by blossoming to the best of its ability and bear the maximum amount of fruit it possibly can. It has mastered the dimension of being a plant, and it needs a new challenge, and we are no different. We need to live with the desire to rise up above our current form of existence, master it and move on to the highest and purest form of existence where we are not tied down by cumbersome bodies. Consider the Lotus flower; its seed sprouts in mud and it rises up from the murky mud to flourish on water effortlessly basking in the sunrays. The murkier the mud; the brighter the flower becomes. Some people rise up from the lowest points of life to become noble citizens, which is a reflection of how quickly they have absorbed life’s lessons. We too can learn the lessons presented in our mud, and the most important one is the humility of acknowledging that there is a God and we are not He. 

We cannot control the circumstances of our lives and existence and perhaps may never know all the mysteries of life. But we can live each day with the gratitude of being alive and being who we are. Many yearn for the gift. We must appreciate our souls for being different and gifted, in this way we honor He who created us. For we no matter how difficult things can get, we are bestowed with the highest honor that exists in this life and we need to be mindful of it. Finding our passion, doing the best with our abilities and sharing our light with others, adds its own flavour to this earth. Let us not despise our lives over the meaningless comforts of modern life, whether we live in abundance or lack thereof. It should never overshadow the sound of our souls that should be listened to.

If you are young and healthy, you are the wealthiest being on this planet. Sometimes it may take lying in a hospital bed or an old age home to realize the value of your youth. Use it wisely and: Give thanks for it. Everyday!

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget you Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say –‘Life is not pleasant anymore’. Remember Him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young before the silver cord of life snaps and the bowl is broken. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. – Ecclesiastes 12

 

Life begins at the End of your Comfort Zone

comfort-zone

Just like when we are born. The moment we leave the comfort of our mother’s womb, life begins. The comfort of being carried, fed, warmth, safety and being thought for ends. Then, only then, do our real lives begin. Our lives take on that same cycle of growth throughout lifetimes. Our comfort has to be compromised for us to rise to the next level. It’s our nature, we learn through pain or passion.

Allow me to illustrate

 

As a child, you learn to walk learn because you are frustrated with not being able to reach the many things that make you so curious. You endure the discomfort of falling many times because you know, once you get it right, your life will never be the same again. As a teenager you fast learn that to stop people from bullying you, you have to stand up for yourself, find your own voice. It forces you to overcome your fear of conflict or confrontation. As a young adult you know that for you to get your degree/diploma, you have to forgo your comforts of sleeping and passivity and strive hard to get what you need to get. We all know what happens to those chaps that attempt an easy way out of varsity; they either dropped out, or kept on repeating years until they got their work ethic right. There’s just no other way.

 

Challenging our comfort zones, has taught me 3 things about life;

 

  1. Grow, or die. If a plant is not growing, it’s dead. If you insist on your comfort, you are slowly dying an invisible death inside. When you bask too much in the comfort of your achievement, your ambition dies. If you get comfortable with your partner and assume their affection\attention will remain perpetual without any extra effort from you, well, sooner or later, their excitement for you will eventually die.

 

  1. Life will repeat the same lessons until we learn what we need to know. Only then will we graduate to the next level of thinking, being and succeeding. Ever wondered why the same life experiences keep on happening to you? It’s like there’s something you do that invites these experiences. In Eastern texts they attribute it to your karma or darma that you need to fulfill before life can present you with new experiences. You need to either change your mentality, they way you do things or interact with the world. You need to learn; otherwise you will repeat that grade in life over, and over again. Unfortunately most people are never aware of what hinders them within themselves and they get stuck on the same level for most of their lives

 

Lastly, I have learnt that once you know something, you know it! No one or anything can take it away from you. It becomes embedded in your character because you have gone out of your way to attain it. As a child you only have to learn to walk once and that’s it! You only learn once (the hard way) that nothing good comes easy and from there on you appreciate the good things your have and are weary of the ones to come too easily. If you’re not ready to grow, then you’re not in enough pain.

Life is a continual journey. As we grow physically, we also evolve mentally, spiritually and metaphysically. Nothing is a hindrance to your development except yourself. The only competition you have in life right now is your thinking and attitude towards life. Everyday presents an opportunity for growth, no matter how small. Staying in comfort will not open you up to new ways of thinking and risk stagnation.

 

Be alert. Life is a test from when we are born until we die. Because, think about it; had you resisted exiting your mother’s womb when circumstances required you to do so, you would be dead. And be still born.

Lady Wisdom

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? 

Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?

She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
 at the busiest intersection. Right in the city square
 where the traffic is thickest, she shouts;

“You—I’m talking to all of you,
 everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
 I’m telling you how to live at your best.

My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—
I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth;
not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds;
 truth-ready minds will see it at once.

Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
 and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.

“I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
 Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
 I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.

With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
 along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me; those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—
also substantial Honor and a Good Name.

My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
 at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
 filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—
 before he did anything else.
I was brought into being a long time ago, well before Earth got its start.
I arrived on the scene before Ocean, yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.
Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape,
I was already there, newborn;
Long before God stretched out Earth’s Horizons,
and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather,
And set Sky firmly in place, I was there.

When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean,
 built the vast vault of Heaven,
 and installed the fountains that fed Ocean,
When he drew a boundary for Sea, posted a sign that said no trespassing,
And then staked out Earth’s Foundations,
I was right there with him, making sure everything fit.
Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause,
always enjoying his company,
Delighted with the world of things and creatures, happily celebrating the human family.

“So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
 those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
don’t squander your precious life.

Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
 to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.

But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
 when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

_Proverbs 8

My Soul Is Alright With Me.

I am a child born of love, so let love remain in my heart and my mind. Let love and joy be my friend, give me peace with no end. Let me live with no fear and no shame. Let me begin to see love come alive in my life. Let me feel how it feels to be me!

A longing and pounding in my heart, led me to want so much more out of life. Led me to forgive every hurt, to let go of the past and allow myself to heal every pain.

Now I am free, yes! I hold my head up high. The burden on my shoulder is no longer with me. Now I can breathe, and I feel so much at ease. My soul is alright with me.

Let love and joy, be my friend, give me peace with no end. Let me live with no fear – I don’t want to fear. Let me begin to see love come alive in my life, let me feel how it feels to have joy.

Let me be free from disease. Let my heart feel at ease. Let me know  how it feels to be free.

-Miss Lira

Soul in mind

Black History month: Pro Africa is Anti-nobody

It’s funny how when things change, the more they remain the same.

Last week when a lecturer introduced himself at Business school, he told the class that he was a racist. Everyone was obviously astonished,; here was this white South African male in his early 40’s openly declaring that he didn’t like black people. What was even more appaling was the fact that he dared to talk about race in 2015! The blacks were offended and the white people equally so, but as our educator for the day we had to humor him.

His analogy was that, he wasn’t racist because he chose to be, he was racist because he was raised to be. All his life he was conditioned to think and behave in a certain way. He only first saw a picture of Mandela when he was 20 years old and spent about 2 years in military school with racist ideologies being drummed into his head. So he had no choice but to BE. An electoral vote will not suddenly shift his paradigms; it takes much more than that for things to change.

The whole point of his shocking declaration was that we all needed to talk about race and not make it this horrible monster that opens you up to so much judgment. In South Africa white people are “apologetically” white and black people are also apologetic of who they are. We are all tiptoeing around each other, while neglecting to love each other and ourselves for who we are. Being pro-Black is not being anti somebody, it simply, means you love and embrace who you are and the culture you were born into, likewise for other races and cultures.

Mental Slavery

February is Black History month, and in commemoration I though I should share an extract of Robert Sobukwe’s first recorded speech while he was a student at Fort Hare University. Reading it really proved to me that not much has changed, instead we have created an illusion of freedom and became more afraid of who we are. Celebrate black history, be proud of your scars, embrace the possibilities and remember that no amount of money  or denial will change the color of your soul.

This extract is from a biography of Robert Sobukwe’s life written by Benjamin Pogrund’s titled: “How can man die better”

how can

“I had an occasion last year and also at the beginning of this year to comment on some features of our structure of which I do not approve. It has always been my feeling that, if the intention of the trustees of this college is to make an African College or University, as I have been informed it is, then the Department of African studies must be more highly and more rapidly developed. Fort Hare must become the center of African studies to which students in African studies should come from all over Africa. We should also have a department of Economics and Sociology. A nation to be a nation needs specialists in these things……….

 I said last year that Fort Hare must be to the African what Stellenbosch (University) is to the Afrikaner. It must be the barometer of African thought. It is interesting to note that the theory of ‘Apartheid’, which is today the dominating ideology of the State, was worked out at Stellenbosch by (Dr W.M.M) Eiselen and his colleagues. That same Eiselen is Secretary for Native affairs. But the important thing is that Stellenbosch is not only the expression of the Afrikaner thought and feeling, but it is also the embodiment of their aspiration. So also must Fort Hare express and lead African thought. The College has remained mute on matters deeply affecting the Africans because; we learn, it feared to annoy the Nationalist government. What the College fails to realize is that rightly or wrongly the Nationalists believe that Fort Hare staff is predominantly United Party. So that whether we remain mute or not the government will continue to be hostile towards us. So much for the College…

…I know of course, that because I express these sentiments I will be branded an agitator. That was the reaction to my speech last year. People do not like to see the even tenure of their lives disturbed. They do not like to be told that what they have always believed was right is wrong. And above all they resent encroachment on what they regard as their special province. But I make no apologies. It is meet that we speak the truth before we die. I said last year that our whole life in South Africa is politics, and that contention was severely criticized…During the war it was clearly demonstrated that in South Africa at least, politics does not stop on this side of the grave. A number of African soldiers were buried in the same trench as European soldiers. A few days afterwards word came that from the high command that the bodies of the Africans should be removed and buried in another trench. ‘Apartheid’ must be maintained even on the road to eternity…

…. And as Marcus Garvey says: ‘You cannot grow beyond your thoughts. If your thoughts are those of a slave, you will remain a slave. If your thoughts go skin deep, your mental development will remain skin deep’. Moreover a doctrine of hate can never take people anywhere. It is too exacting. It warps the mind. That is why we preach the doctrine of love, love for Africa. We can never do enough for Africa, nor can we love her enough. The more we do for her, the more we wish to do for her.

I wish to make it clear again that we are anti-nobody. We are pro-Africa. We breathe, we dream, we live Africa; because Africa and humanity are inseparable”.

-Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (21 October 1949)

I have taken extracts of the speech, for entire read feel free to purchase the book. The aim of this article is not to sow negativity in our young democracy, but as my lecturer eluded, it is to create open dialogue on our racial dynamics. I believe we can find common ground at some point in this life time, but only through a principle of love. Love for oneself and love for another despite the history.

History will forever remain, we cannot pretend it away. We cannot remain divided, because that only perpetuates the slavery mentality. If you really think about it we are all slaves to a certain extent, black and white.

Aluta!

photo 4

How (un)Fortunate!

So this Saturday, my vacuum cleaner decided to teach me a lesson; A real one! Woke up early-ish on that day and decided to spring clean my room. This also involved moving things around and changing the way my bed was positioned.

I usually have music on when I clean, but I decided not to put the radio on coz I know I have to vacuum my carpet first so it will make noise and I wont hear my playlist. So after shifting everything I took my vacuum cleaner and went to work. To my dismay, the vacuum cleaner didn’t wanna switch on. I tried every button and switch, but nothing. I thought maybe I had neglected to read the manual properly coz my sister assembled it for me, I was usually passive when it came to such.Keep calm and get

So I got the user manual read it cover to cover. I even learnt that I needed to change the filter and so I got the dirt out. For the first time ever, I realized how much I needed this thing. After all attempts were made, I then resolved that the vacuum cleaner was broken and it was time to fetch the broom. My room had to be cleaned and re-arranged so crying over the vacuum cleaner wasn’t gonna help. I was on the verge of throwing a pity party because I felt like nothing in my life was going right. I didn’t have the best of weeks and my geyser had recently been broken and now this. I was feeling rather despondent. But I couldn’t fall apart because it wasn’t going to change anything.

After sweeping the entire carpeted room and moving stuff around I went to fetch the dustpan to scoop the dirt. And while I was walking down the stairs, I heard my microwave beep! Then it hit me: there was no electricity the whole time. I quickly rushed to switch on my vacuum cleaner and it worked!

Not once did I consider a power outage a possibility, but there I was with egg on my face and a sore back. This taught me the following lessons about disappointment;

It’s not as bad as I think.

This vacuum cleaner not working doesn’t mean the end of the world and it has no reflection of how my entire life is going. One can easily drown on the missed opportunity and feel as though nothing better will ever come. It’s not as if I don’t have a broom to clean up with. The vacuum cleaner not participating doesn’t determine whether my room gets clean or not.

There was a way of cleaning the house before the hoover and there will always be a way. I once survived without it.

It’s not a reflection on you.

Stop taking things personally! If you didn’t get the job, it doesn’t mean that you are the worst candidate or you’re not worthy of good things. It just means that someone was destined to get the job and there’s a better opportunity waiting for you ahead. So relaying my life as pathetic purely because there was no electricity is so not AYOBA!

The vacuum cleaner is “broken” not me.

Accept the situation and find way forward

We sometimes dwell too much on what went wrong instead of acknowledging its occurance and then look to find a solution. Coz it doesn’t matter how much I would have cried and felt sorry for myself, it didn’t change the fact that this thing is not working and my room still needs to be cleaned. Even if I had announced it to all the neighbors, it wouldn’t have changed my situation.

MoveSo instead of sharing your misfortune with everyone over and over again, try to find a way to get over it. It doesn’t matter how much sympathy you get, you still need to move on and get on with it; Misery loves company, don’t give it room!

Dissapointments test your will power

The vacuum cleaner breaking down highlighted how much I wanted to re arrange and clean my room. If I didn’t look for other ways to do it, it means I was unconciously comfortable with it not happening. That’s why they say “if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself up and try again”. How much you want something is determined by the lengths at which you will go to get it!

Maybe that wasn’t the plan

When things don’t go the way we planned, we get so devastated and think: “that’s it!” all hope’s lost. Firstly who said your plan was “THE” plan? Maybe God already has something planned for you and it didn’t look anything like that which you had planned for yourself. We must admit that we sometimes miscalculate our objectives and we must forever be ready for what comes next.

It’s not your fault

I took for granted the fact the vacuum cleaner does not only rely on me to press the “start” button for it to work. But it also needed electricity. Here I am sitting and thinking that I was such a bad owner who never cleaned to poor thing, while instead it had its own problems! (it’s a pity it couldn’t tell me though). We do tend to blame ourselves when people disappoint us. Yes we have our own faults but their actions are not directly driven by our actions.

You didn’t get that job because the other candidate grew up in Cape town and you didn’t. And no, there’s nothing wrong with coming from Foschville, it’s just that this time it didn’t work for you. Don’t punish yourself.

The last and most important lesson I learnt is that; You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone. The time I was sweeping the carpet manually, that was the peak moment where I wished I had a vacuum cleaner. I didn’t appreciate mine and now it was gone and I felt like such a fool. It’s funny how life takes the smallest things to teach you a big lesson.Dissapointment

“It is not your job in life to judge what is right or wrong for somebody else. When another person behaves in a manner, which seems to be unhealthy or unproductive, we must not judge. We must learn to accept. Once we accept this is how the person chooses to behave, we have the right to decide whether or not we want to participate” -IyanlaVanzant

We don’t choose what happens to us, but we choose how we react to it.

#004: People!

GoodbyeIn life we will go through different seasons, as mother earth changes, we change too. Things can turn out for better or the worst, at any time, but nonetheless they will change. And interestingly all those changes involve people. It’s actually people who make the world go around!

Imagine of all the 5billion people in the world, the people that are currently in your life are the odd 3000 that you know. Is that a coincidence? I don’t think so. Every person walks into your life at a particular time for a reason. We never know why certain people come into our lives, and no one can ever fathom the reason why people’s paths cross in life.

Some paths will bring you pure bliss while others you wish you can erase from the face of history.  In your entire lifetime, you have met the people you needed to meet (and there are still more to meet) and they will always be part of who you are whether you choose to celebrate it or not.

There are people who will come into your life and make you grateful for being alive- everyday. It may be your children, family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, collegues, spouse or  even strangers. But regardless, you cannot imagine how your life would have turned out without them. Some are there to give you strength, some encouragement, life, laughs, being, pruning. Those people who make it a point that they will not rest until your happiness or sucess is secured. They may not be many in our lives, but they are surely there. Usually some of these relationships take the soul of you to build, but at their peak they bring the sweetest aroma to your life. For them we give thanks and our prayers as they do the same for us.

However, in life you will you will have to meet (and pray for) another kind of people. The people who do not give a flying hoot about you. Certain people will tear you down, as in like totally break you and then move on with their lives. And trust me; they won’t miss you for a second! These are the ones who test character.

Weigh yuo downTrials build character. That’s why you must love your enemies and the people who hurt you because they presented you with an opportunity to grow. Each time they exposed you to a hard time, they stretched your capabilities and wisdom. And regardless of how the friendship ended, you still pursue peace with them. Not the “I want you back”, “bitter”, “ please be my friend” kinda peace, but peace that heals you more than them. This is why after every goodbye, we must learn to breathe, reflect, learn our lesson, forgive ourselves, forgive the other and move on!

However, be very careful, that even after the person’s chapter has ended in your life, you insist on holding on to them for unhealthy reasons. I don’t understand how we humans are- for some odd reason we have this fascination about people who don’t like us or reject us. It’s like you try to prove a point to yourself that there is actually an individual out there in the world who doesn’t want you. I mean who rejects such an awesome, considerate person that you are? Well, here’s a…..NEWSFLASH!: You are not money, not everyone will want you. Misery loves company, so remove yourself from any situation that no longer honors you, before you drown in it.

Being alive is a blessing and having people who love us is a greater blessing. Loving those who don’t love us is a multiplied blessing.  If you say you want to know God, you must start by knowing that which defines HIM; Love, Grace and Forgiveness. Live these out and you will see His glory.

Love tolerance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give thanks for L.I.F.E

Noluthando Khanyile

 

#003: People that are hard to please

There are some people in your life you will always struggle to please. Not that you constantly seek their approval, but their opinion matters to you so much that you would like them to acknowledge when you have made good efforts. It may be people that we admire/respect, that their congratulatory note will be a massive vote of confidence or it may be people we want to extend our caring emotion towards. Hard to please people come in different shapes and sizes;

Genuine: This person never seems satisfied with whatever stride you have made. They always believe that you can do better. These people actually have a genuine belief in your capabilities and always want to stretch you. Funny enough they will tell you when you have done well, BUT instantly remind you that you can do better. These are usually mentors, teachers, role models, etc… and they often mean well.

Own standards:  Then, there are those people (especially parents), who refuse to honour you until you achieve something greater than they did. You can come back home with 10 CAF stars and they will remind you that they got their 9h star when they were half your age. So this means you must achieve more than that to please them. The thing is; with this type of a hard pleaser is, the goal posts are always shifting. It is now not the fact that you got a 10th star that matters (more than theirs), but it’s the fact that they got their starts quicker than you. With this type you are highly unlikely to win. In some instances they want to live out the dreams they left behind through you. We all have one life to live, be careful when someone wants a second dose of youth at your expense.Confidence

Pull you down:  This is the most dangerous of all the impossible pleasers. This person will make sure that they don’t acknowledge your achievement, purely because they don’t want you to realise how good you are. If you give them too much airtime, they will make sure your self confidence takes the first available train to Mars. Basically these people are just jealous of you and will discourage you, to make themselves feel good about their own lives. RUN.

Insecure: This type of hard pleasers usually occurs in romantic relationships. No matter how much you make an effort to show this person how special they are to you, they will always find something to complain about. You eventually feel like you are not good enough for this person or you are just incapable of loving someone as they deserve. The problem here is not the pink roses or cheap chocolate, the problem is that you are loving someone who doesn’t love themselves. Hence you are being made to fill a void that even the owner doesn’t know how to fill. Ps: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

Don’t know how to: This person may be proud of you, but they will never show it. Not because they think it will get to your head, but because they don’t know how to. People were raised in different environments and unfortunately for some -affirmation was never part of their upbringing. And in most cases people cannot give what they don’t have. If you recognise your impossible pleaser to be this type, you need to teach them. Congratulate them and affirm them, don’t demand that they reciprocate it, but if you’re consistent enough, they will learn. Remember: you teach people how to treat you.

I have mentioned quite a few types of people that are impossible to please, I’m pretty sure there are whole of others out there. I only have one solution to dealing with such people: Celebrate yourself!

Don’t always seek the affirmation of others, set your own standards and beat them. Ask yourself: “what would I have to do/get to for me to feel satisfied/proud of my achievement? Don’t matter what anybody says, as long as I get “there” I’m happy”. And when you do reach that point, stop and celebrate. Give yourself a pat on the back so that even if someone else doesn’t celebrate you- you are proud of YOU.

Yes, it is always good to have people affirm and encourage you, but their definition of excellence must never be absolute to you. At the end of the day, they are people with their own imperfections. You do need people to look up to and we all have people whose negative/frank opinions have bettered our lives, but don’t let them define you.

I am a firm believer that: “It doesn’t matter what people think of you, or even what you think about yourself. But what matters the most is what God thinks of you”. Aim to please Him and you can never go wrong!

Remember:  No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Act

Unconditional Love!!! (memoirs of an Earth day)

So 2 Saturdays ago (12 October) it was my birthday, and for the first time ever I had a birthday party I didn’t organise. It was really a blessed and joyous one for me. This day taught me one thing: Whatever energy you give out to the universe it will echo back to you. In Christian terms it simply means that the Lord who sees what you do in secret will reward you publicly. I give thanks for being loved by HIM.

Cake

The Lord just showered me with so much love through our friends.

Ton and Dora

Meet Dora and Ton. This couple organised such a beautiful birthday for me when I went to visit them at their farm Douglas. I had only met with them twice ever in my life and they took the time to love on me and make me feel special on my special day.

They invited all their friends around the farm to come share this day with me. *Blessed love* Oh before I tell you more about Ton and Dora. Now meet Ethel

Me and sista

So this lovely, radiant, woman of God shares a birthday with me! When I was told they will host a party for me in Douglas and I could bring a friend or two, naturally the first person I thought of was a co-miss party!!!  Mrs Ethel runs an orphanage for abounded kids in Soweto(http://www.innerheights.co.za/inner-heights-foundation/hope-for-the-helpless-childrens-home); she really needed the break especially on her birthday weekend and boy was it special!

They even had special birthday chairs for us. She was turning 76 and I was turning 26, but she’s one of the best friends I have ever had!

Birthday chairs

We spent the day with new friends

New friends

And old ones.

old frnds

Mom and Zan

And special friends…

Special

We had the youth choir sing for us…

youth choir

…and the men’s choir

Mens chpir

It was undoubtedly the best birthday of my life! I could tangibly feel the genuine love all around me. I was blessed with new parents, brothers and sisters, children, etc. At the end of the day my heart could not contain or express the joy and contentment I felt inside. I felt like expanding my being, reaching out beyond the universe and shouting: JESUS IS LORD!!!!!!!!! Blessed loving thanks!

party time

Befday gals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, we all enjoyed fellowship together with all of our party friends…

Church sign

And then we went to visit Sarah and Andries at their home;

Andries and Sarah

Ton and Dora are busy on a project to renovate their outside rooms for the ministry Sarah and Andries are partaking on. You see Sarah gave birth to a disabled child and from that the coupled was inspired to start looking after severely disabled children in the area. It is not an easy mission, but it seems the Lord is fuelling them with enough love and blessing to go on.

This is some of the work that has been done so far.

school room right

Inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier I promised to tell you more about Ton and Dora. They are from Holland and are founders of a charity foundation called Eye for others (www.eyeforothers.nl) and their basic mission is to make a difference for children. They have worked for my years with many people to raise funds and build a secure future for children in poverty stricken areas. They have conducted projects mainly in the North West and Northern cape.

This is a nursery school they built from scratch for the children in Douglas

outreach

skul projektrffic circle

When we went to see it I was fortunate to interact with the little ones in the area, and luckily I had sweets in the car so I was miss popular :). I especially fell in love with the little boy in the orange jersey, I think purely because he was the youngest *ncooah*

 Douglas kids

My special one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended off our birthday weekend by going to watch the sunset by the Vaal river mouth (the Vaal becomes the Orange river heading to the ocean). It was another time of worshiping and marveling at the splendor of the Lords creation.

Me and patus all Us

Sunset

We drove back to Jozi on Monday morning with joy in our hearts and love in our lives.

PS: Last week, Sarah and Andries unfortunately lost their grandchild from a brief illness;  May her soul rest in peace and may the Lord heal their hearts.

Here’s a piece Zandra wrote on the weekend we had together: http://iamzandrahabana.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/we-need-to-act/. We all have the ability to change the world.

Ps:  If you enjoyed this picture blog, you might like following www.fabby101.wordpress.com. This lady has a gift of telling stories through pictures. Enjoy 🙂

If you were married, I would understand…

So where was this girl when all of this happened??Differences

“She was there in the room with us”

What? You mean to tell me, this man beat you up in his room with some chick watching the whole show? He most probably met her that very night at a pub and now he comes and upholds her more than you, and you are okay with it?

I somehow felt judgmental when I said this, it’s her business, but then again something sounds very wrong about this picture. It is a random girl after all, maybe if it was the new lady in his life one would understand, but iseqamgwaqo nje sasetshwaleni? Hai no, zero nje! Clearly Ephraim was trying to impress this silly girl when he beat up my best friend; this surely put a stamp on him getting “some” that night.

I could see the shame in Lydia’s eyes when I asked her if she’s okay with it. She kept on zooming her eyes up, and down keeping a small gaze in the middle. Up, gaze, down…, and she didn’t even once look me in the eyes.  And after a few of those, she eventually responded…

“Ok! Before you start giving me a long lecture on morality and the difference between right and wrong, I know a man only respects a woman that respects herself. I shouldn’t have gone to his place that night without letting him know. Yes I was drunk and probably said a lot of things I shouldn’t have said, but I needed to speak to him desperately. He tried to break things off when I confronted him about his cheating 2 weeks ago, but we have been talking via wats app since then, so I thought….”

…you thought what exactly Lydia? That you’re going to rock up one night and things fall into place? Listen here my friend; if a man wants you nothing can keep him away and if he doesn’t want you, nothing will make him stay. You need to stop making excuses for his behaviour and start smelling the coffee. Your relationship is basically non-existent at this stage. If he refuses to change his cheating ways and suggests a break up instead;  you’re still gonna run after him?  And you’re very right about self respect, your baby is barely 6 months old and here you are getting drunk at some tavern at night and running after men!

And the mere fact that you just gave birth to his child should at least warrant you a certain level of respect from him, don’t you think?

“Everything I do, I’m doing for my child can’t you see?  I refuse to allow my baby to be raised by one parent. We will make this work; we have to make this work Tselane. And yes I do realise that our relationship is practically over, but my heart still yearns for him. My love for him is so strong, I’m willing to overlook his mistakes as long as he loves me back and we get things to how they used to be. I know deep down inside he loves me more than anything in this world, I think him having a car now is making him go wild and girls throw themselves at him”

(Silence)

“But in all honesty I do regret that night. I shouldn’t  have went to his house unannounced”

I rolled my eyes. By now I realised this conversation is not getting anywhere, because now fresh excuses are being made for Ephraim. I had to ask decisive questions, just to understand where Lydia’s judgment stood about this beating. What bothers me the most are not her excuses, but her compromised dignity. We live in a very small township and everyone knew she’s been in a relationship with Ephraim for close to 6 years now. This girl that was with them the night of the beating is probably laughing it off somewhere over magwinya and atchaar with Lydia’s haters. It’s bad enough that Ephraim doesn’t respect her, now half of Itsoseng won’t too!  I kept these thoughts to myself. But I had to probe to her “regret”.

Oh, so you say you regret that night? What exactly do you regret? Going to his house drunk, unannounced and saying whatever or do you regret him beating you up infront of another woman? And if it’s for the beating are you going to open a case of assault against him?

“Yho! Tselane nawe you’re taking this issue way too seriously, gosh! I told you I still want to make things work between me and Ephraim, sending him to jail would totally ruin things, plus I don’t need that kind of drama in my life. Besides, he didn’t hit me with his fists and stuff, he used a belt. My body is green all over but my face doesn’t even hint of what happened. It was the first time my man laid a hand on me and punishing him over that one mistake would be cruel nje. I know Ephraim is not the aggressive type.”

I cringed.

Lydia, I would understand overlooking his “one mistake” if you guys were married! But you cannot compromise yourself so much over a paper-less agreement. He is merely a boyfriend, not your husband! Anyway, I can see you’ve already made up your mind about this whole situation and I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise. Do what you think is best for you and your little family. I’ll stay out of it.

End.

 

Do you think Tselani is right about Lydia having the obligation to forgive/overlook  the beating if she was married to Ephraim? And how often should a woman allow physical abuse before she reports it to the police? Maybe Lydia is being too objective about her friend’s situation. Do you think if she was to get a beating from the man she truly loves, she would have seen this situation differently? Lastly do you think Lydia is actually protecting her little girl with her choices?

The bible does call for women to be submissive to their husbands, but in the very same sentence it says: “Husbands love your wives! And from what I know Love doesn’t hurt you. It is kind, does not boast, keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil and does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. It never fails!

What’s your take?

not loveGet help: www.powa.co.za

And HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY 🙂

 

#Ayashisamateki: Distribution

But do you guys remember the awesomeness that is in wearing a new pair of shoes? The entire day you look down at your feet and smile inside each time you do. You even try catch a reflection of yourself just to see hoe good your new shoes look on you. The nostalgia is overwhelming. This past weekend we gave that feeling to close to 120 destitute children. Each time they look down at their feet they will see HOPE.

We set out to distribute the shoe collections to their rightful owners last Saturday, 13 July 2013. Overall we had collected about 250 other pairs of shoes on top of the 96 that was sponsored by Skye Distribution. All the children and teenagers on our list received a Dickies Supa Dupa sneaker. Mothers and dads in the vicinity also got blessed with a pair as . Toddlers shoes also went a very long way, we covered many young ones.supa

 

This was the most fulfilling of the day of my life, I must say. My biggest fear was that they will take the shoes and sell them on the streets, however seeing each one of them falling in love with their pairs was heart-warming. They couldn’t stop looking at their feet. Their old pairs were all rugged out, and the new shoes couldn’t have come at a better time!

 

Our first stop was in Yoeville.

A majority of these children are abandoned by their mothers and are either living with their grandmothers, child headed homes or with neighbours. Some come from a slum house in Becker street.

Everyone paint  boxes

 

The next stop was Mandela bridge

Teenage boys live in this area and have been waiting for these shoes with too much anticipation. This distribution point was the most fun, I must stay and we spent an illegal amount of time there.

35 corner

 

We then hit Joubert Park in the CBD

Girls are the major beneficiaries in this group. This area is drug infested so we had to exercise caution so as to avoid commotion. So we called the beneficiaries out of the park and found a relaxed spot for the distribution (well relaxed if you exclude the taxis, lol)

fav Bona!

 

Then Hillbrow..

This is in a slum house, mothers and their children benefited and we even had babies receiving clothes (from the physical donation, again, thanks guys).

Hello dankie

Our last stop was at the orphanage in Mofolo

Sonke thato

 

For more pictures please see our Facebook Page: Innerheights.

Thank you to Standard Bank employees and friends for the generous cash and shoe donations. Blessed thanks to Skye distribution for the sponsorship, YCL Linda Jabane district, Innerheights foundation and most importantly the Standard bank CIB grads 2013 for championing the project.

Someone might think such a gesture is futile as it doesn’t improve the children’s life  situation. However they don’t overstand  that such people are touched more strongly by love as it is something the lack the most. And LOVE trusts all things and hopes in all things. It is not rude and  is not self seeking.  It never fails.

Blessed Thanks!

#Ayashisamateki: New Beginnings

So lately my weekends have been spent up and about jozi streets, looking for worthy children to benefit from the Ayashisamateki project. By worthy I mean: they are younger than 20, are not completely drowning in drugs and they can show me where they stay and tell me a bit more about themselves. I’ve spent time with street children (and adults) in Berea, Hilbrow, Braamfontein, Jozi.

I have, however, developed a special bond with the young boys living under the Mandela Bridge. Mostly because they are the first group I was introduced to by my friend Alex who visits them regularly and they have the youngest age group living there (as young as 11). So I’ve grown to know some of them personally, and when I get left-over food donations around town I take it to them. Engaging with these young men has taught me something very important about life: If something is meant to happen, it will happen. And, you can only help people that want to be helped- you cannot force your compassion on other.

So when I first saw the 11 year old boys at the bridge, I collected their names for shoe sizes with the rest of the group. However they were so tiny that my heart didn’t allow me to leave them behind so I arranged to take them to the orphanage in Mofolo that I have I have been supporting for the past year. We begged the little boys to come with me so they can be fed and warm and we were already making plans to get them to school. One was very reluctant, but *Tom (not his real name) who is from Limpopo wanted to go to the shelter and was excited to leave the street. They spent 2 days at the orphanage and on the 3rd day they stole money (R50) and ran away-back to the street. About a week later, I went to collect Tom again who admitted he was influenced by the other boy and wants to go back to the home. When we got there he was so happy to see the Gogo and hugged her like she was his mother. I felt our mission was accomplished and a young child will get to be taken care of, go to school and find his family. A day later I got a call from the older guys at the bridge telling me Tom was back. I was sad. But oh well, I tried.

At the same bridge I had met another young man (Boyza), however he was 21 years old and wasn’t my primary concern really as the little ones had captured all my attention. Boyza only had 1 request: He wanted to go back home to Qwaqwa. He came to Joburg with his mother when he was young. At age 9, his mom left where they were visiting as though to go to the shops nearby and she never came back for him. So at that tender age he was forced raise himself and live on the street. With that said, when you come across him today you can never tell he lives under a bridge. He washes and gets piece jobs washing and parking cars to have some decent clothes.

I had given my number to an elder boy Lebo, to contact me as he was helping me move around jozi to find beneficiaries (esp girls) and it helps to walk the streets with a street wise person. So about a week after Boyza asked me for money to go home, he took my number from Lebo and called me to remind me about his request. I told him I will make a plan after we distribute the shoes (as he might also get a pair). My biggest worry about this was that; what if he gets the money and doesn’t go home? Or if he does get to Qwaqwa and finds no one home or he can’t even remember his way there. After all I was there to buy them shoes, not to be a social worker. This was just tricky.

On Sunday morning, Boyza called me again, this time almost in tears. He told me he got stabbed the previous night and he is tired of the street life, he desperately wants to go home. He is not even willing to wait for his new pair of shoes from Ayashisamateki. He wanted to go. I think he called me 6 times that day. So my friend Alex agreed to accompany me to see them on Tuesday evening. And Boyza showed me his scars (not too bad) and he was still on that going home tip. He assured us that he remembers his way back and will try his best to get his life together. He said he realises that if he keeps moving with the street motions he will either end up dead or be like the dirty old men that eat from dustbins and he didn’t want that.

I gave in eventually and Alex was willing to accompany him to the taxi the following day. I agreed to help save his life from danger only of he allows me to tell him how his soul can also be saved. I introduced him to Jesus Christ and he was delighted to meet Him. He told me he loves going to church but was never sure if he’s saved. This was a brand new start for him, and He now had the Lord of all on his side to face this new chapter. I was beyond happy. We started planning how he’s gonna start a vegetable garden at home while he looks for work. He asked that I organise him a small bag for his clothes so he doesn’t get home with plastic bags and maybe an extra pair of shoes to see him through the next months as the ones he had were almost finished. Again, I said i’ll make a plan and we parted. What happened from here on was both out of this world and humbling.Bye Boyza

At home I managed to find him a small bag my brother didn’t use anymore. In it I packed him some oranges for the trip, a motivational Christian book and a t-shirt. On Wednesday morning I went to the storage where we keep the Ayashisamateki donations to get him some socks and possibly shoes. To my surprise, I found a fresh pair of Puma sneakers (donated recently as it was sitting on top of a packed pile), and they were exactly his size! Brother Alex came to collect the bag and transport money (obtained from the shoe donations- thank you guys). His fare was R 170 and I gave him an extra R50 for pocket money.

Alex walked him to the taxi rank. Got him onto the taxi, paid the driver and wrote Boyza’s details down and they said their goodbyes. Just make sure he was indeed serious about going back, Alex waited by a corner somewhere for 10 mins and afters seeing that Boyza didn’t run of, he went back for the final, final goodbye. To his surprise when he got to the taxi he found another man sitting next to and talking to Boyza. This man thanked Alex for paying this young man’s fare to go to Qwaqwa. I turned out the guys is Boyza’s uncle and they have been looking for him years on end. And there he was in the same taxi, going to the same house with him. Immediately he called home and told them he was coming home with a special somebody. If this is not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Alex had this to say about Boyza’s trip: “I have never seen Boyza take such bold strides. He is walking tall, confident, smiling with no clue what to expect when he gets to a place he calls home. The streets are all the love he has ever known. They; embraced him, Hugged him, Protected him, Abused him, Yet comforted him.”

All along I have been trying to help kids that don’t want to be helped (or don’t know any better), while there was someone who needed the help and was ready to receive it. Yes, Alex and I happened to be at the right place at the right time to help Boyza, but already His help had been prepared by the Lord. For many are the plans in a man’s heart, but only God’s will prevails. I don’t believe any of this is coincidence, it was pre-destined and God had set His eyes on Boyza’s life way before we came into the picture. He is indeed sovereign.

As for Tom, I’ve sort of given up on him; he’ll find help when he’s ready. Even though I’m a person that looks at world through my heart, I haven’t got time for games; I honestly have way better things to do with my love. I want to thank Brother Alex for introducing me to guys and walking this journey with me. To Sis Mpume Myeza; thanks for creating the atmosphere for Boyza to share his request and a bigger thank you to everyone that donated to the project which ultimately help give Boyza a new beginning. As for me, everyone says the Lord will bless me for reaching out to the destitute, I say: I am already blessed with the honour of being God’s hands and feet. That He entrusts me with His children and He gives me so much love that it overflows.

#Ayashisamateki clearly isn’t about shoes, but lives.

Blessings!

 

PS: I got a call from Boyza on Thursday morning telling me he arrived safely. He told me he was on his was to get information at a local FET to learn welding. It will definitely take a while for him re-integrate to his community. But he will never spend another night on the street. Mission accomplished!

#Ayashis’mateki: Thank you!

“AYASHIS’AMATEKI”

 

On behalf of Standard Bank CIB Graduates 2013 and the Innerheights foundation, we would like to; Thank you all very much for the support we have received for the #Ayashis’Amateki initiative!

Today marks the end of our collection period for 2013, and from your generous donations we have managed to collect:

 

  • R 12,340 in cash
  • 30 pairs of Adult sneakers
  • 20 Formal shoes
  • 20 pairs of kiddies shoes
  • 2 pairs of new school shoes
  • A lot of socks!

 

We are also proud to announce that Skye distribution, has volunteered to be our official supplier for the purchase of shoes. The agreement is that they will supply us with Dickies Pro sneakers at cost price, which will make our cash donations go a long way and we can afford brand new shoes for a majority of the children. Overall 96 kids will benefit ( age range: 3 years- 19yrs) from the project, and they are based in the following areas:

 

  1. Braamfontein under the Mandela Bridge (21)
  2. Yeoville by the recreation centre (17)
  3. Joubert Park (18)
  4. Slum house in Hilbrow (12)
  5. Slum house in Becker street, Yoeville (8)
  6. Hope for the helpless Orphanage in Mofolo (21)

 

Distribution

 

Saturday, 13 July 2013, is the official date the shoes will be distributed to the children. This is to allow our supplier time to process the #Ayashis’Amateki order as the sizes required vary. If you would like to be present on the day of the distribution please respond to this e-mail and will forward you the necessary details. The groups will be split, so you will only be required to assist in one venue.

 

With the remaining cash donations we are hoping to give out a cup of soup (and a roll) to the children on the day of distribution. This will give a warm fuzzy feeling (inside and out) to our beneficiaries and make the day even more joyful. And maybe we can throw in an orange for nutrition, compliments of the Bag of oranges Campaign (see on Facebook: The Bag of Oranges Campaign). The formal shoes collections will be donated to the CIDA campus to assist disadvantaged students with Interview gear (further details to follow). Extra shoe collections will be donated to deserving adults living on the streets, that are seeking employment.

 

Once again, thank you for your donations. Love is the strongest force on earth, and we hope our act of love will make a positive impact in these children’s lives.

 

Pictures of the day will be posted on our gallery (www.innerheights.co.za)

 

THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN! TOGETHER WE DID ITJ

 

Warm regards,

#AYASHIS’AMATEKI TEAM

#Ayashis’Mateki

old sIt is really fascinating how in life so much emphasis is placed on things. What car one drives, the house you live in, the clothes you wear, even what kind of food we eat and yet so little focus is placed on people!

A herd of lions will not walk past a lost cub, they would take it in and look after it because even though they don’t know the cub’s parents it is still one of their own. It therefore fascinates me how we walk past abandoned kids on the streets and not even give the smallest care.  As Innerheights, we believe it’s time to start caring for these children because we don’t know their stories hence it is not our place to judge, but to love.

AyashisaMateki is the first of many projects aimed at making “street life” better for these kids, with the ultimate goal being to get them off the streets as much as is possible.  Young girls and boys are getting lost (and used) on the daily, something needs to be done. But first, we start with the basics: SHOES!

mateki

A lot of children that live on the street have probably owned one pair of shoes their whole life. Some don’t even have shoes at all and those that do; the pairs are WORN OUT and DIRTY and some DON’T even FIT anymore!

Please join us in a quest to collect 100 pairs of shoes (and socks) to alleviate this problem. Winter is upon us and such a gesture will go a very long way. This is initiative is in partnership with Standard bank CIB graduates so all collection points will be based around Simmonds street.

Here are 3 simple steps on how you can help:

  • Donate 100 towards the purchase of shoes
  • Donate a pair of old sneakers (in decent condition)
  • Drop off donations at collection points

We have met with the children and managed to obtain most of their shoe sizes. We anticipate distributing the shoes on the 29th and 30th June. Our key areas of focus are kids (between the age of 8 and 18) that live in:

  • Braaamfontein (by the Mandela Bridge, Pick n Pay)
  • Joubert Park
  • Small Street near Shoprite
  • Yoevile and
  • Hilbrow

If you would like to participate in the project in any way or would like to assist on the day of distribution, please send me an e-mail: noluthando@innerheights.co.za

Keep watch for our weekly barometer that will track progress on how many shoes we’ve collected so far!

Thanks a million :):):)

Innerheights Foundation

#002: People who Love You but Won’t Give Up their Comfort to Protect you

Seeds of loveIn life you are willing to go an extra mile for someone you love because you know they would do the same for you. But sometimes the people that we truly love (and we believe love us), might not be willing to go the extra mile for us. Often times these people think there is nothing they can do to help us out, when infact there are so many opportunities to do so but they never open their eyes to them.

Maybe it’s a lack of will power or fear of the unknown, but in most cases the person is just a coward. They are afraid to face up to the situation and what it might do to their comfort (status quo). Deep down inside they hope the problem will go away by itself and you are strong enough to handle the disappointment. Sad thing is; if they let you down once and you recover from it, you best believe it will happen again. Let me give you a few examples;

Your husband knows (and acknowledges) how his mother is condescending and disrespectful towards you for no reason whatsoever. Yet he would still bring her to visit at least 2 months every year. A classic example is when a parent remains silent while another person hurts or violates their child. Last week I watched the movie “Precious” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precious_(film)  and this type of conditional love was blatantly clarified in my mind (and heart).

Precious is a 16 year old girl, who is struggling with her grades at school and is pregnant with her second child. Her first baby is 3 years old and has Down’s syndrome. By the way Precious is not the prettiest of girls and has never had a boyfriend in her life. You see, her daddy has been molesting her since she was 3 years old and has fathered both her kids. Her mother has known about this ever since, at first she tried to stop her man from hurting the child by asking him over and over again: “What are you doing to my baby?”

Precious’ mom couldn’t face the trauma of losing her man and being a single mom. Well the guy eventually left her, unemployed, single, depressed and with 2 grandchildren. That woman seemed demented, all she did all day was sit on the couch, watch tv and collect a welfare grant for her unemployment and grandchild. Oh by the way at the end of the movie Precious’ dad dies of Aids, just after Precious gave birth to the second child.

I know that this is an extreme case of conditional love, but it really highlights the damage that gets done when you don’t stand up to protect the ones you love.  For evil to triumph it takes good men to sit and do nothing. Here’s how I have learnt to deal with people that I know love me, but would not give up their comfort to protect me:

1.       Protect yourself. But love them anyway.

If your well being is constantly affected by their poor choices (or lack thereof) get yourself out. You need to look out for number 1 first. I strongly believe that you should leave a situation that no longer honours you. Love them from a distance.

And loving them may sometimes mean just praying for the person or simply forgiving them. You don’t want to get yourself too close so they can hurt you again. Just like Precious decided to take her kids and go live where her mom cannot find her. But I’m sure in her heart she still hoped that her mom becomes a better person and digs herself out of the misery she created for herself.

2.       Love without expectation.

Never allow people to change who you are inside. If you chose to love, do it without reservation and expectation no matter how many times you’ve been let down. People will always be who they want, and frankly that’s what really makes the world go round.

3.       Look for unconditional love in the right place

Only God’s love is without conditions. Once you fully know and understand how much God loves you and how precious you are to Him, you will never again seek affirmation anywhere else. Perfect love drives out all fear- You will never be afraid of being let down because you know God’s got your back, always. And God has the power to protect your heart from the pain. You will find yourself going through the worst of situations but you never lose your peace of mind and you never fall apart (even when you expect yourself to)- This is what it means to be hidden in the Lord.

“Greater love has no one than this; that someone lay down his life for his friends”  John 15:13

Ps: There are many “Precious” girls out there, especially in the South Africa we live in today. Protect them for me. Pretty please…

#Ok, next we talk about people that are hard to please (for real :) )

You too can make it happen. Why not?

We thought it would never happen, or something will go wrong, or our planning would just not be enough. But it did happen and everything was beyond perfect. I could have been at home watching cartoons (like I do most Saturday mornings), but last week Saturday was something special and I was glad to be a part of it.

Together with the Project Hope ladies, we organized a special lunch for teenage girls from Hope for the Helpless orphanage in Mofolo. You see since Project Hope was incepted, the orphanage has been our beneficiary in terms of donating groceries every month. However we know that a child is not only raised on food, they need love and knowledge that someone actually cares about them. So this was basically to spend some quality time with the girls, to get to know them better, while encouraging them to dream beyond their circumstances. That is why the theme for the lunch was: Living your dream. We tried to make the event as special as possible, from delivering handmade invites with their names on them to giving each one a rose when they entered the event venue.

We were prayerful on the weeks leading up to the event that God prepares the young ladies hearts to receive something and grow from it. Well our guest for the day, made sure of that. We had Thendo (Mpho’s sister) come share her life story with the girls and how she managed to escape rape and death situations to be where she is today. Born of a preacher mother, she was one rebellious teenager and got herself into all sorts of trouble which exposed herself to many horrible things, some of which she is still dealing with right now. But by God’s grace she is now a blooming woman, who has just written her own book and is focusing her life into Social entrepreneurship and living for the Lord. She said, she wishes at her age she had someone caring enough to host an event like that for her and warn her of what life carries ahead.

The girls were encouraged, and I hope they understood that by them growing up in an orphanage might just be a blessing in disguise and God actually cares for them more than they think. We had fun sessions with the young ladies when they shared a bit more about their dreams and what defines them. And let me tell you, those kids are one joyful bunch, some even sang for us! We obviously didn’t have money to finance the entire event, we got young professional ladies to sponsor a girl for lunch. These ladies also brought knowledge to the girls in the various fields, which added more value to the afternoon. I recall Sandra (a medical doctor), saying: “We are encouraging you to be the best you can be, so we can have a coffee break with other black sister doctors”. Yes our desire is make the most out of these ladies and see them thrive and be successful so we can grow our young black professional landscape.

Obviously the event was a once off treat for the girls, as the main concern over their lives right now is food, clothes and decent schooling. But this one thing can remind them how special they are. Knowing that the next time they go to school without lunch money, they know they have a provider who does exceedingly and above than what they can imagine. Even if it’s just once or twice a year.

Sharing on this event is not to place glory on anyone, but God. Yes, I honor the ladies for working relentlessly to make the event a success, but ultimately this showed me that when God gives you a vision, He will bring it to pass. There were so many things to worry about, from the weather to the finances, but He took care of everything. This shows that you don’t need to accomplish xy or z to help someone out. Just heed God’s call inside of you to reach out, and trust Him to do the rest. To think those “special invites” were printed in color on a normal A4 page and wrapped in ribbons that cost R2.50 each. Because we had the heart to make it special, the almighty made a way for it to be.

You just need to desire to help someone out, it may be through kind words, financial assistance or even going to visit the less fortunate. Nothing you do can ever be too little.

A big thank you to project Hope, the ladies who sponsored the lunch, my brother for providing us with transport, the venue people for hosting us, and God for holding up the weather, providing  goodie bags, trusting us with his little ones and giving us the vision.

You too can bless someone, with something. Remember, we are blessed to be a blessing. You are not where you are because you deserve to be, your opportunities could have easily been granted to someone else. And you don’t have to be a millionaire before you can help others. Maybe driving around with a packet of oranges and giving it to the beggars you come across on your way to work could be a start OR you can come together on a monthly basis with colleagues and donate say R100 each and decided how you’re going to help someone out. Just think of a way and you will find it.

If you want to know about Project Hope, or the Orphanage, please go to our new page: From God with Love. I have also profiled a few other initiatives that serve to make a difference in other people’s lives and you can get involved with them if you like.

Izandla ziyagezana.

Life is short…

Not a single one of us is guaranteed another day on this earth. Our days were apportioned to us before we were even born albeit, there’s a time for everything; to live, to die, to grow, to cry, to laugh, to hurt and to love. These times should be treasured (and accepted), living each moment as our last, because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. These are people who have been part of life somehow. Our paths in life crossed and some point and a part of me was shared with them and so was theirs. Let me tell you a few stories…

We used to call my brother in law’s granddad, Da (father). He was a vital element in my life somehow. This year, when everybody was celebrating Mandela day, our family wasn’t in a jolly mood. You, see 2 days before we had lost our Madiba. Da was also born in 1910, we were looking forward to his 92 birthday in November. An old man who was strong and had so much love, all of a sudden fell sick after a few weeks passed on. We were sad, but also grateful that we shared in his life.

Shortly after Da’s passing, his grandson had an annoying headache. End July he was admitted into hospital and after a week or so he died. We buried him on top of his wife who passed away in a car accident a couple of years ago. They leave 4 kids, the youngest being 8. God will keep the children, but unfortunately life had to happen for him. May his soul rest in peace.

Then there’s Ntombana. A chick we grew up with, we lived in the same neighborhood in Dobsonville. She went missing on the 23rd of September. Her body was then found by cops in a nearby cemetery 5 days later, she had been raped and stabbed to death. I still can’t get over how horrible her last moments might have been. She was openly lesbian and has been ever since I knew her. Yes, everyone has their time to die, but no one can judge another. Farewell Ntombana, a very sweet somebody who is the only person I know who has a smile on every single picture. Laid to rest 4 Thursdays ago a few days before Gay Pride. Here’s her story http://www.citypress.co.za/SouthAfrica/News/Lesbians-family-begs-for-justice-20121006 (There is only one lawgiver who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge another? –James 4vs12).

On the same day I went to see Ntombana’s mother, I started in Braamficherville on the news that Mr Norman had passed away. I know him through Golden Ark senior citizens, a food project, to feed the community. I remember when I last spoke to him he said: My child; “by the time the first rains come this year we need to be ready to plant our crops”. He was the Chairperson of Golden Ark and was passionate about the agricultural project. Gogo Angie told me that the previous Sunday, he woke up like any other day. He just fell on his way to the door and that was the end of him. Death is indeed a thief.

A colleague of mine was telling me about a tragedy that befell her relatives. That morning she had been so tired because they had to identify bodies in Mpumalanga. A recently married couple, went to Swaziland with the groom’s dad and brother to introduce the wife to their relatives there. While travelling back, the family got involved in an accident with a truck and another car. Everyone died on the spot, all 5 of them. Turned out the young bride was pregnant. May their souls rest in peace.

Nathi’s older brother is engaged to my cousin, we were all so fond of him. Born in 1995, he was shaping up to be fine young man. He loves cars, his father owns taxis so he learned driving at a young age. He is the one that picks up my little cousins when they are invited to a party somewhere. On the 13th, he was driving his father’s BMW with a few friends, something went wrong and they were involved in a car accident. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/cops-blamed-for-teen-s-fatal-crash-1.1408390. Out of the 4 people that were in the car, 2 died and 2 were critically injured. It was Nathi’s funeral 2 Saturday’s ago.

About 5 weeks ago, Pana came to my place with Mom to help us move in some stuff. He is an old family friend who visits every other weekend. Pana was no trouble at all; he just loved watching tv and smoking his cigarettes. Last week Sunday, he was taking a walk to a spaza in the neighborhood. A taxi sped past and knocked him over. He sustained head injuries and a broken leg. 3 days later he passed away in hospital. By the way, the driver of the taxi is a young teenage girl who was playing around with her boyfriend’s company car. Her life has changed, forever, just like how Pana is gone forever. I’m still sad.

The previous Sunday we woke to the news that some guys from my hometown (Nquthu) were missing. Funny enough, I know all of them and my step mom is related to some of them. They were driving in a low lying bridge from Magogo (Northern KZN). Apparently there was a heavy storm on Saturday night and their car was swept away, 2 managed to get out the car and stand on the roof of it. The other 3 got washed away in it. Follow the link to read their story http://www.thepost.co.za/woman-watches-teachers-drown-1.1408922. Their bodies were only last week Friday (http://www.thepost.co.za/teacher-s-body-found-others-still-missing-1.1411997) more than 30km’s from where they drowned. Imindeni yakwaNgobese, kwaSikhakhane nakwa Buthelezi iduduzeke.

Life is short guys. I’m reciting these tragedies as though fables, but that is the reality of the earth we live in. I am beyond sad, these experiences have just taught me to accept things as they are and move on. Life brings us new turns every day, and we never know what can happen next. Maybe you’re sitting there and your last day is a few months away? Will you be grateful for your time here, or are you going to wish you had made much out of your time? We must get off the paradigm that there’s always tomorrow to do this or that. Tomorrow’s not guaranteed.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell ad make a profit.” Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a small vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes away. Instead you ought to say,”if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that. But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin__James 4 vs 13-17

If you’ve been meaning to tell someone how wonderful they are, do it today, not tomorrow. Mend that relationship, send that gift, go visit that relative, buy that house, open that business, write that book, go for that audition, make that suggestion. If you have a dream, start living it, or least start finding a way on how to. Our lives are but a mist that appears in the morning and disappears by day. That is how short your life is. Start living for today, let go of the past because it will keep you there and prevent you from loving the here and now. The people you just read about are ordinary people, as special as you are, nothing different about them. If it happened to them, it can surely happen to you.

With the understanding that life is short, it is wise to start planning for eternity. Start serving the author of time and you will understand that death is not the end. But the beginning of another, beautiful, worry free life with our Father. If you’ve been meaning to surrender your life to Christ, do it now, today, don’t postpone it much longer because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. Choose life.

All flesh is as grass. And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers. And it’s flower falls away. But the word of the Lord endures forever__1 Peter 1 vs 24

Just so you know….

This is for all the ladies in unhealthy relationships. Yes, you know who you are, don’t need to a doctor to diagnose your situation. So listen up! If you’re unsure, listen up as well.

This is not a break up post, so guys please don’t hate me; I’m just sharing small basic truths that we as women sometimes forget. Loving someone means you’ll wait for them, but you need to respect yourself too by knowing, if and when it’s time to walk away.

If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away.  
If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.  
Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior. 
Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.  
Stop trying to change yourselves for a relationship that’s not meant to be.  
Slower is better.  
Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.  
If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve  
then no, you can’t “be friends.”  A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.  
Don’t settle. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.  
Don’t stay because you think “it will get better.” You’ll be mad at yourself  
a year later for staying when things are not better.  
The only person you can control in a relationship is you.  
Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women.  
He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant,  
Why would he treat you any differently?  
Always have your own set of friends separate from his.  
Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you.  
If something bothers you, speak up.  
Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.  
You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within.  
Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are…even if he has  
more education or in a better job. Do not make him into a quasi-god.  
He is a man, nothing more, nothing less.  
Never let a man define who you are.  
Never borrow someone else’s man.   
If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat ON you.  
A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.  
All men are NOT dogs. 
You should not be the one doing all the bending…compromise is a two-way street.  
You need time to heal between relationships: there is nothing cute about  
baggage! deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.  
You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you…a relationship consists  
of two WHOLE individuals…look for someone complementary…not supplementary.  
Dating is fun…even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.  
Make him miss you sometimes…when a man always knows where you are and your’re 
always readily available to him- he takes you for granted.  
Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need.  
Share this with other ladies….. You’ll make someone SMILE, another  
RETHINK her choices, and another woman PREPARE.  
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate   
him, a day to love him, and an entire lifetime to forget him.  
 

BY THE WAY, THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A MAN, SO TAKE A HINT.

-Author Unknown

Sometimes you have to forget how you feel and remember what you deserve. Remove yourself from situation that no longer honors you. Love yourself enough.

The more stable, confident and self loving a woman is, the healthier will her relationships be.

Sweetest Revenge

When people deliberately hurt us, our natural reaction is to seek justice. We may forgive them but deep down inside, we wish that something equally bad happens to them so they can feel how we felt.

Here’s a piece of advice: If someone hurts you, please don’t spend your life waiting to see their downfall because it will never come! You just need to deal with the negative energy they enforced upon you, learn from it and move right along. Their whole life should not perish just coz they did you wrong. God loves them as much as He loves you and if you don’t perish from your wrongs, they won’t too.

If someone doesn’t love you/rejects you it doesn’t mean they are bad people altogether. You are not money, not everyone will have the burning desire to want to have you. Don’t hate for not being loved, rather respect other people’s choices to choose who they want in their lives and who they don’t. Their decision to dislike/ disrespect you is based on their perceptions, and has no reflection on you whatsoever. So other people’s actions towards you should not define your character and dictate who you are.

You see when someone does something bad to you. By trying to “sort them out” or “teach them a lesson”, actually means that you are now stooping to their level. And trust me; it drains so much of your energy. You should obviously express your hurt and tell them what they did is not right, but beyond that there isn’t much you can do. Instead continue being who you were toward them. I know it’s hard, but treating your enemies with kindness is the worst thing you could ever do to them. Guard yourself in prayer so you never lose your peace. You are exercising power with gentleness, the bible calls it meekness and it has such positive fruit on your character.

Allow God to deal the injustice you have suffered the best way He can, it is not up to you to decide on someone else’s fate. Think of all the people you have wronged, deliberately or otherwise, would it be fair for God to let them have a say as to how your life should end up? You see we want to settle scores and see that people get what they deserve and yet God does not give us what we deserve in our transgressions. This, my friend is what forgiveness is about. It is not just simply saying: “I’m sorry”

Yes you forgive and let go of the hurt, but seeing the person prosper, sort of hurts. Not in a jealous kind of way, but in a “you don’t deserve to be this happy” kind of way. You see we take the act/hurt and define the person by it. We brand the person as our heart ache defines them. It’s like saying an entire bank is useless because you were once issued a faulty card and you couldn’t access money to pay for a meal you just ate or something.

Sometimes people will not realize their fault towards you, at that very time you want them to see it. You may express your anger as forcefully as you want, but if they chose not to realize it, they just won’t. That’s why it sometimes helps to put the shut to the up. Yes, just shut up and let it go. Maybe you might even have to apologize even if you were wronged. Simply do it and move right along. It is not a sign of weakness; it just shows that you choose which battles to fight.

You cannot afford to lose your peace of mind, just because someone decided to be rude today. Sometimes you just need to let people drown in their stupidity so they can learn the valuable lessons life has to offer. You just walk on in faith, believing that the Lord knows best how to deal with them. Just cast it all on Him and best believe He will heal your hurt in the process. Focus on your own journey in life, learn your lessons and keep to your lane.

Let God be the ultimate judge, because your definition of noble is not absolute.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint- Isaiah 40:31